How To Pass an MMI Interview
Students do not score well in MMI interviews purely by chance. There are a number of preparation hacks as well as simple tips for on the day of the interview which increase interview success.
Know the interview process
Ensuring you understand the format and specifics on the MMI can help inform your preparation. Find out how long each station is and whether or not the university have released a list of attributes they are testing for. Some Universities may give you more specifics on the type of stations so you can know what to expect.
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Research and effective university specific preparation is absolutely essential to guarantee you a place at medical school. As part of your preparation, you should aim to consider your goals and qualifications linking these to a career in medicine. Interview preparation requires motivation and tenacity, not only must you research and demonstrate an awareness of scientific and medical issues but also carefully review the University and their course to understand why you would be an excellent candidate.
- It can be difficult to know the best approach to preparations – you want to be sufficiently prepared without sounding scripted. Brainstorm and research potential topics they may ask you about and consider a few ideas or key experiences that you want to reflect on.
- Doing sufficient research on medical and scientific topics is essential. Moreover, research your specific university and the nature of the course you have applied to- consider why a course of this nature would suit your learning style. Not only should you show an understanding of their curriculum but what else does the university have to offer in terms of extracurricular opportunities. Ensure you have an insight into the culture, infrastructure and demography of the city you may one day be studying and living in.
- Practice speaking your answers so you become more comfortable verbalising your ideas and thinking on the spot. It can be useful to voice record yourself and listen back to your answers. Do your answers clearly flow and sound secure and confident? You may also get a clearer idea about your diction clarity and pace. When listening to recordings many students become aware of their excessive use of filler words such as “um, ahh and like”, using these excessively will detract from your credibility and confidence.
- Mock interviews are the only way to stimulate the pressurised time restricted environment of an interview. It may be useful to practice with an interviewer you are unfamiliar with to make it as realistic as possible. Mocks interviews are the perfect opportunity to allow you to develop your confidence. It can be useful to get constructive feedback in a low stress environment. Even if your interviewer has limited medical knowledge, they will be able to provide you with advice on your communication skills. Ask your interviewer for meaningful, individual feedback on your interview technique. Your MMI may last for anywhere between 20 mins – 1 hour 30 mins, practicing maintaining concentration for this amount of time is important.
- Make the most of resources available to you, online there are many question banks with “perfect answers.” Review these and see how they compare to your answers.
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Tips for on the day
- To boost your chances of success you need to be in your best mental and physical condition during your interview. Ensure you are well rested and fed.
- Being appropriately dressed will help you to convey professionalism. Although you may not be aware of it your clothing may influence the interviewers’ perception of your management characteristics and general personality. Aim to dress comfortably in a manner that supports the messages you hope to deliver during the interview.
- Arriving late to the interview reflects poorly on you as a person and will affect your performance on the day. Ensure you provide yourself ample journey time to ensure you are punctual. If due to extenuating circumstances you may be late for your interview make an effort to contact the university.
- Prepare questions for the interviewer/ university staff members. Having insightful questions which do not have simply googleable answers can help you to display enthusiasm.
- Relax and be yourself – interviewers will expect students to be feeling nervous and anxious, they aren’t expecting perfection. Fidgeting hands and restless behaviour can be distracting for the interviewer so try to be aware of this. Before answering each question take a deep breathe. Remind yourself of your success so far, interview selection processes are extremely tough so you should feel confident in your abilities. Remember that each station is a fresh start so if one station doesn’t go as planned, take a deep breathe and move on.
Answering the questions
- Be aware of how your non-verbal body language and communication will affect the interviewer’s perception of you. Make an effort to have relaxed and open body language maintaining appropriate eye contact.
- Answer the question- in order to answer the question, make sure you read the brief slowly and several times. Consider what skills/ attributes the station may be testing.
- Within your answers try to avoid rambling about the context of situations or long descriptions about what you have done but rather provide insightful reflections. Using the STAR approach describing the situation, task, action, result and then reflecting can give your answer structural reassurance.
- Ensure your answers show depth and passion whilst avoiding excessive rambling. When you are answering questions be aware of how long you are speaking for. You don’t want to bore your interviewer so keep it concise and relevant.
After the interview
It would be extremely disappointing if your medical offer was withdrawn where you display poor professional standards of behaviour. Disclosing information about the content of stations will result in serious consequences. You don’t want to be struck off from studying medicine before you even begin!